New Zealand ShakeOut Observation Evaluation Report : a summary of initial findings

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McBride, S.K.; Becker, J.M.; Coomer, M.A.; Tipler, K.; Johnston, D.M. 2014 New Zealand ShakeOut Observation Evaluation Report : a summary of initial findings. Lower Hutt, N.Z.: GNS Science GNS Science report 2013/61 41 p.

Abstract: The New Zealand ShakeOut, organised by the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (MCDEM), was the largest earthquake drill in the history of the country. Over 1.3 million participants registered to participate in the drill via the ShakeOut website. The drill was held on 26 September 2012 at 9:26 a.m., and participants were asked to ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’ in response to a potential earthquake. In addition to the drill, other relevant activities were also promoted as part of the ShakeOut including undertaking preparedness activities for earthquakes, and emergency response planning and exercising. A programme of evaluation was undertaken to determine the effectiveness of the ShakeOut drill in engaging people about what to do during an earthquake. One of the streams of research within this evaluation was having volunteer observers make notes about how people participated in the drill. More than 5,000 observer forms were completed and collected in the month following the drill. Another of the evaluation streams involved surveys undertaken with schools about their participation in ShakeOut. This report provides an initial summary of the findings of the observer forms, and a summary of participation in ShakeOut by schools. In terms of the observer forms it was found that there was a high level of participation in ShakeOut, especially by workplaces, suggesting that workplaces provide an important outlet for public education activities regarding earthquakes and disasters in general. Over 60% of people seen by the observers actively participated in the actions of ‘Drop, Cover Hold’. Of those who didn’t participate, disability and age (too young and too old) were reported to have been factors preventing participation. In terms of regional involvement, Wellington had the largest proportion of observer forms returned, followed by Auckland. Several provincial centres (e.g. Nelson, Timaru) also returned good numbers of observer sheets. In terms of the school survey, initial results show a very high level of participation by schools in the ShakeOut drill, high assessment of performance for ‘Drop, Cover and Hold’ for the drill, and significant use of ShakeOut resources by schools (91%). (auth)